The courage and daring of the late black political activist Jessica Huntley is to be celebrated in a new London Metropolitan Archives lecture during Black History Month on 17 October.
Entitled ‘Women of Courage and Daring’, the lecture takes place just a few days after the 5th anniversary of her death (13 October 2013) and explores extraordinary women from the archives. The lecture is part of the City of London Corporation’s ‘Women: Work and Power’ season of events celebrating women through history.
Huntley helped bring about real change through a shared commitment to publishing, community action and justice. Alongside her husband, Eric Huntley, she changed the world around her. After campaigning for women’s’ rights in her native Guyana, Jessica moved to London in the 1950s. Here she co-founded the radical London-based Bogle-L’Ouverture Publications in West Ealing with her husband. The bookshop and publishing company shone a light on unsung work by and for black talent and became a hub of cultural activity and inspiration for a generation of young people who were introduced to social and political works like Garvey and Garveyism by Amy Jacques Garvey. The bookshop stayed open for 18 years, in spite of racist attacks during the 1970s. They remained focused on the need to uplift and empower Africans in the community, particularly through education.
The Huntleys inspired others to establish a number of community projects with the emphasis on alleviating injustice and marginalisation. Jessica was also part of the development of the Keskidee Centre, one of the UK’s first African Caribbean cultural centres. Along with John Le Rose of New Beacon Books, Jessica directed the 1982 inauguration of The International Book Fair of Radical Black and Third World Books. The Huntleys were therefore integral to the Black Power Movement in the UK. For over 50 years the Huntley’s participated in many significant grassroots campaigns.
17, October 2018 14:00-15:00
London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London, EC1R 0HB